T Nation

Programming Beyond 5/3/1


#1

Jim,

I apologize ahead of time if this annoys you because you've already answered my question because I've missed a prior Topic thread.

My question is on the beyond 5/3/1 program. After reading about it and it's 7 options in the book, my understanding is to follow the percentages to rep templates which coencide with one of the options at a current training max of 85%. I would increase the training max every 3 weeks as described then deload every 6 weeks. Would the deload signify a cycle completion?

I'm a bag a fucking rocks so again, apologies. Thanks for making the mistakes so we don't have to, and congrats on another epic book.


#2

I trained in this style for about a year and had the best progress of my life. It was the only thing that ever got my squat over 500, and since having a kid a year ago and the associated training disruption, my squat has since fallen back below. I plan to move back to this kind of training (heavy weights, lots of autoregulation) now that I am able to train more frequently and predictably.

The way the system is laid out in the book is essentially what you're describing, but the way I worked it in practice was to leave the training max more or less alone. My rule was when I could hit it for a solid six, I could move it up 5-10 lbs if I wanted. I did not use the 3/6 week cycles or planned deloads. It was heavily autoregulated and this worked for me. Apparently many people fuck this up so who knows.

I know I get stronger from doing the lifts without a ton of assistance, doing singles, lifting heavy weights frequently, and having freedom to make training decisions on the fly. From what Jim has written lately, most people do not do well with prolonged exposure to joker sets or open-ended programming, but that has not been my personal experience.

I also found this style of training to be a lot of fun. It's a choose your own adventure type deal every time you go in. If you don't have much of a training background though, or much experience with basic training concepts (e.g., how to manipulate volume/intensity over time,) you may not get a lot out of training this way. If you are comfortable forging your own path and making decisions on the fly, I'd just go for it. Set your training maxes to 80-85%, pick a template that works for your life and gives you some flexibility, and go to work. On the other hand, if you're actually as dumb as you say, maybe pick something more hard-coded for now.


#3

Ramo, thanks for the info.


#4

Hey man No need to apologize. It's
only the pissant assistance shit questions that gets guys steamed on here because it's kinda pathetic

Ramos 's advice is golden!
Let your TM be your guide. Why doubt yourself? Ever? Jump in and take over your training! Once you grasp that it will spill out into everything you do in life Period


#5

Hey mate how did you plan out your cycles to get to 500 squat? Eg supplemental plan and how often you used jokers etc.


#6

The plan was general and adjustable day-to-day. That's why it worked for me. Some key points that distinguished what I did were lots of paused squats for backoff work for sets of 3-5 reps, lots of joker singles, the 6-rep rule for moving up the training max, and squatting fairly frequently (2-3x/week). I always squatted to the TM for a single before pulling.

Only assistance I did was back extensions, ab work, lat/upper back work. This was not planned or anything, I just did it most days when I had time/inclination.

Most important thing by far is that I enjoyed training this way, so I showed up and worked hard consistently.